A few months ago, my best friend approached me and told me of her desire to complete her first triathlon. As a triathlete myself, you could imagine how excited and proud I was. And, of course, there was no way I could let her do it by herself. So I singed up for the Early Bird Triathlon, part of the Somersault series and hosted by the Ottawa Triathlon Club.
This would mark my second triathlon. The previous one was the Esprit Triathlon in Montreal.
I took this new challenge as an opportunity to cross-train for my marathon, happening exactly a week following the triathlon. Cross training is great for long-distance runs. When you run you use the same muscles every time. However, when you bike, swim or do weight training you are strengthening your other muscles that your “running” muscles can rely on when they get tired.
Even though, I have only done one other triathlon, this triathlon was the hardest tri I had ever done.
The swim was okay. It was in a pool. So compared to open water swims, my goggles stayed on my head and were not kicked off by swimmers in front of me.
Every 15 seconds a new swimmer would dive in and swim 10 laps to complete a total of 500 meters. With every splash, my heart raced. I had trained a lot for the swim and improved tremendously since my last tri.
As I stood on the mat, my chip registered with a beep letting me know my time had started. I held my breath and swam as fast as I could.
I followed the lines at the bottom of the pool until I reached the ladder. As I pulled my self out of the water, I could see my mom and Alain, my two biggest fans.
The swim was not over, before I could even set a foot on a peddle I needed to run 500 meters to the T-zone (transition zone). Although it was far, I had strategically placed my shoes and socks outside the pool doors.
I could sum up the bike portion in one word: hills. If I wasn’t going up a hill, I was pushing through the wind. Unfortunately, I naively believed my bike to and from work was sufficient enough training for a 30 kilometer bike. Sadly, it wasn’t, because my bike to work is only 8 kilometers.
But I am not one to give up or go down easy, I pushed on and made it to my favourite part, the run.
As primarily a runner, there is no guessing why the run has always been my strength. However, this run was no ordinary run. I can summarize the run in two words: ridiculous hills.
Needless to say, the course was very beautiful. we ran right alongside the rapids of the Rideau river, and in to an alcove where wonderful volunteers sat in the very hot sun to give us crazies some water.
On my way back I decided to block any messages to my brain related to pain and simply enjoyed the run. Around the corner I went and there I could see the finish line. As I do in every race, I sprinted. Now, I sprint for two reasons: (a) it looks cool and (b) I am so sick and tired of the race and just want to finish.
You can check out my time on Sportstats. Unfortunately for me, you can also see some race pictures. Please no judging, no one looks pretty while sweating.
I would like to take this time now to congratulate all my new friends for finishing. But most of all, I want to congratulate Natalie Melanson on completing her first triathlon. And as the great Tyra Banks would say, you go girl!
I am STILL and always WILL be your biggest fan!!
This is awesome! I laughed at your naivety about the bike (as a cyclist). Next time let me help you train for that part!!
Well now that you mention it. The next triathlon I am doing is an Olympic distance. So I need to train for a 40 km bike ride. Any tips? Is it like marathon training where once a week you do a “long run”, but in this case I would do a “long bike”. What about hill training?
That’s not a bad ride. You’ll want to do two 16 km rides and one 40 km ride every week.